It was another day in my office. I was sorting through articles, photography, checking ad revenue, brainstorming on future issues and setting time aside with my team to help where I could and catch up on their stories, sales, and conversations. I received an email from a business owner that I connected with after publishing our first redesigned and branded Hunt & Field. He wanted to talk over a virtual call. During that virtual call, he encouraged me to find my “why” and to find “what makes Hunt & Field different” from other gun dog and hunting publications. It was advice from a business owner to a business owner and from a creative professional to a creative professional.
In the last six months I have been asked repeatedly as to “why” I wanted to transition the old Field Trial Review into Hunt & Field. My gut response has been, “Because it felt right.” Most people don’t understand that response. Business owners and professionals have thoroughly well thought out strategies behind a rebrand to their business. I am no different. Every decision I make is calculated and with a very specific reason and purpose; however, my decisions are influenced by my first initial gut instinct. And the truth is, “because it felt right” to shake up this publication and reach for new readers and subscribers.
You see, I am an artist, and I have been since I could hold a crayon in my hand. Most of the time I am able to see the finished piece of art in my mind before I sit down to draw. It is the same way with this magazine. I could see a finished product in my hands, and I knew if I could see it, then I could create it. The power of that confidence doesn’t live in this great ego of mine, but in my instincts and intuition.
I feel you, as a reader, probably understand that gut instinct feeling. We are animal lovers at the end of the day. Whether you wake up and feed one dog, or a kennel full of hunting dogs, or you pick out your horse stalls while the herd is eating their morning breakfast, I believe it is the right assumption that you are driven every day by the love of animals. And one thing we animal lovers have ingrained in us, regardless of being a dogman or horseman, is how to listen to our intuition and instincts. Our animals teach us how to listen to our gut. Perhaps they train us how to do that so we can better train them.
My “why” is pretty simple, I am first and foremost a horse and dog woman. I have thrived in the outdoors since I was born. When I was too young to ride horses I wondered about open horse pastures. I explored in the woods and sat by ponds scooping minnows out with my tiny hands. The barn dogs would walk with me on my adventures to watch over my steps and keep me company. I connected with nature and with that wild freedom as a young six, seven and eight year old, and I still do in my 40s.
I suppose what makes my “why” different from other publishers and their industry magazines is simple: the experiences I have had throughout my life, in the great outdoors. The experiences I have had are not of the elite. I have never been the best equestrian or even considered trying to train dogs. I have never had the top fancy horses or dogs. I have never won national championships or traveled to the most sought after hunting lodges or destinations in the country or world. I’m like you, just an animal lover that thrives in the outdoors. I can’t afford the top priced horses or dogs. I can’t afford the top branded equipment, gear and attire. I make do, and my love and passion have allowed me to meet the best. At the end of the day, I am not trying to be something or someone I am not. I am trying to be the authentic, down to earth horse woman my mother taught me to be.
The stories in this magazine are told for the everyday outdoorsman and woman. The everyday dogman and woman. The everyday horseman and woman. Perhaps you are like me and have been an animal and outdoors lover since birth. Perhaps your love of horses led you down the path of Field Trials and bird dogs. Perhaps you are a fourth generation upland hunter and your love of the hunt behind your bird dogs led you to following their lead by horseback. Perhaps your dad taught you all about shooting and fishing and your love of the outdoors led you here, wanting to learn more about hunting with dogs and horses.
No matter if you are a fourth generation bird dogger, or a first generation outdoorswoman, the stories we publish in Hunt & Field are for the ordinary novices, amateurs, and outdoor lovers. We are here to help attract you to the outdoors. We are here to help you find your place outdoors. If we can make upland hunting, field trialing, and a life full of bird dogs and horses more attainable and relatable then we are accomplishing our goals and our “why.” I hope you follow our journey, and it helps you thrive outdoors with your dogs or horses, or both.